Thanksgiving with a Side of Grace

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My simple Thanksgiving gift to you.

A beautiful passage from the book, “The Inner Voice of Love”, by Henri J. M. Nouwen.

“When suddenly you seem to lose all you thought you had gained, do not despair. Your healing is not a straight line. You must expect setbacks and regressions. Don’t say to yourself, ‘All is lost, I have to start all over again’. This is not true. What you have gained you have gained.”

Be grateful for your progress rather than focusing on where you’ve fallen short.

“Sometimes little things build up and make you lose ground for a moment. Fatigue, a seemingly cold remark, someone’s inability to hear you, which feels like rejection; when all these come together, they can make you feel as if you are right back where you started. But try and think about it instead as being pulled off the road for a while. When you return to the road, you return to the place where you left it, not to where you started.”

Appreciate that your setbacks don’t require a start-over.

“It is important not to dwell on the small moments when you feel pulled away from your progress. Try to return home, to the solid place within you, immediately. Otherwise, these moments start connecting with similar moments, and together they become powerful enough to pull you far away from the road. Try to remain alert to the seemingly innocuous distractions. It is easier to return to the road when you are on the shoulder than when you are pulled all the way into a nearby swamp. In everything, keep trusting that God is with you, that God has given you companions on the journey.

Be thankful for the people who are walking by your side.

“Keep returning to the road to freedom.” 

This Thanksgiving I encourage you to make time for appreciating where you are in your journey.  How much you’ve had to overcome. How far you have traveled.

If you’ve experienced some detours, this is a good time to appreciate what you’ve learned from those experiences. If you are right on track with where you hoped to be, then celebrate! If you are struggling to move forward, show yourself some grace and know that the road is waiting, right where you left it.

This passage spoke to me as I considered how my life has unfolded this year. I hope it will be an encouragement to you too.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with love, hope and gratitude.

 

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